Japanese Shochu Campaign
Now through Sunday, March 6
Prices vary per bar
The Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center (JFOODO), an organization of the Japanese government, is focused on introducing the Japanese spirit shochu to New Yorkers and Los Angelenos. Shochu is a pure, clean, and expressive spirit with distinctive aromas and flavors from its individual ingredients.
Eight high-end bars—five in New York and three in LA—are participating in the Japanese Shochu Campaign. The bartenders have been experimenting with adding shochu to their drink menus, creating custom-made shochu cocktails specifically for this campaign. These cocktails are available to the public at each venue through March 6.
Each cocktail is eye-opening and presents this spirit in a new and exciting light. The cocktails showcase shochu’s versatility and shine a light on the talented bartenders who created them. JFOODO and the participating shochu brands hope that this promotion will help spread awareness of Japanese shochu in the American bar industry.
Participating New York Bars
Angel’s Share – 8 Stuyvesant Street
One of the oldest speakeasy-style bars in the East Village and still one of the best
Mixologists: Atsushi Nakayama and Tsunetaka Imada
Made with Nankai Shochu (Machida Shuzo)
Contains sweet potatoes, egg yolks and cream, but the shochu in the drink keeps it refreshing.
Verre de vin
Made with Aka-Kirishima (Kirishima Shuzo)
Mixed with blueberry juice, maple syrup, yuzu, yogurt, and green tea leaves. A recreation of a glass of red wine using Shochu.
Bar Moga – 128 Houston Street
1920s-era Japanese cocktail bar, specializing in craft cocktails
Mixologist: John Anthony Ober
Zireael (Inspired by The Witcher)
Made with Beni Ikko Shochu (Takara Shuzo)
Mixed with Brooklyn Gin, Dolin dry vermouth, Wild Hunt bitters, and Simple syrup. Garnished with orchid flowers and smoked with Japanese cherry wood.
Oh Sansho Wow! (Oosanshouo)
Made with Shiro GINREI Shochu (Takahashi Shuzo)
The rice aroma is spiced with sansho pepper and ginger.
Norwegian Wood (Inspired by the Haruki Murakami novel)
Made with Mugi Hokka Roasted Barley Shochu (Honkaku Spirits)
The toasty aroma of barley and chocolate go well together, perfect bitter hot chocolate for adults.
Martiny’s – 121 E. 17th Street
A brand-new cocktail bar coming soon in the Gramercy Park neighborhood
Mixologist: Takuma Watanabe
Made with Shiro-Kirishima (Kirishima Shuzo)
Mixed with mango purée, milk, lemon juice, and shaken with a raw egg yolk
Made with Iichiko Saiten (Sanwa Shurui) and yuzu jam for a sweet citrus taste
Oldies – 269 36th Street, Japan Village, Brooklyn
Selected as one of NYC’s Hottest Cocktail Bars in September 2021 by EaterNY
Mixologist: John Carlson
Made with Nankai Gold Shochu (Machida Shuzo)
Blended with dried mango and spun in a centrifuge to clarify it and add some fruitiness and sweetness from the mangoes. Yuzushu and lime juice add sweetness, complexity, and acidity to balance the drink.
ALL FOR ONE
Made with Iichiko Saiten (Sanwa Shurui)
Mixed with Green Chartreuse, umeshu and lime juice.
Yuzu Drop Martini
Made with Hakutake Shiro (Takahashi Shuzo)
Yuzu juice adds acidity, and lemon and syrup add sweetness. The alcohol content is low, so it is easy to drink.
Thyme Bar – 20 W. 23rd Street
The newest underground cocktail speakeasy lounge hideaway
Mixologist: Jeremy LeBlanche
Hana Ni Arashi (Flower in a Storm)
Made with Iichiko Saiten (Sanwa Shurui)
This smoky, spicy, refreshing, and tingly cocktail is a twist on a Moscow Mule
Made with Kuro-Kirishima (Kirishima Shuzo)
This aperitif is slightly spiced from Kummel (a sweet liqueur flavored with caraway seeds, cumin, and fennel) with a nice floral profile from shochu
For more information about the Japanese Shochu Campaign, please visit JFOODO’s website.
JFOODO, The Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center, has the goal of boosting the export of Japanese agricultural, forestry, fishery, and food products overseas. Throughout the year events are organized focusing on specific products. Famous mixologists in New York City and Los Angeles have developed original shochu cocktails to enlighten the public about the pure and expressive spirit.
Shochu is a distilled beverage typically made from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, or brown sugar. Its flavor is often described as nutty or earthy. Each shochu has a distinct flavor depending on the base component and is about 25% alcohol. Shochu has clean, aromatic characteristics that may be faintly reminiscent of sake, because both shochu and sake typically begin with the use of koji, a microbe that converts the starches of rice into sugars. You can enjoy this versatile spirit on the rocks or mixed with other ingredients, bringing out the umami of the brand.